The Nebraska Pork Industry
The Nebraska pork industry adds significant value to the agricultural economy and is a major contributor to the overall Nebraska economy. Although the size and structure of the Nebraska pork industry has changed over time, current levels of production continue to support jobs and generate earnings in the state economy. In 2021, the sales generated from hog marketings and pork processing supported a total economic contribution of over $978.2 million in personal income, over $1.657 billion in value added, and more than 17,866 jobs in the Nebraska economy.
Total Economic Contribution
All direct, indirect, and induced economic activity supported by the Nebraska Pork Industry.
jobs supported by the pork industry
value added (GDP)
personal income generated
Hog Farms and Production
There are about 3.6 million hogs in Nebraska. The size of the Nebraska hog herd has varied over time but has trended upward from 3.05M head in 2000 to 3.6M head in 2021. As of December 2021, Nebraska farms accounted for 4.9% of the total U.S. hog inventory.
The number of Nebraska hog farms has decreased in recent years. From 1997 to 2012, the number of farms decreased from 6,312 to 1,476, and by 2017 Nebraska had 1,230 farms raising hogs.
Approximately 79% of Nebraska hogs are on farms with 5,000 or more in inventory. 13 percent of Nebraska’s hogs are on farms with 2,000 to 4,999 head, and eight percent are on farms with less than 2,000 head.
Hog Production Costs and Returns
In 2021, hog sales (including market hogs, sows, and feeder pigs) totaled $1.06 billion. In addition to these farm-level effects, the pork industry supports other industries by purchasing inputs, supplies, and services. Based on long-run prices and aggregated production budgets for the Nebraska pork industry, producing over 5.43 million market hogs in Nebraska generates over $648.127 million in feed, labor, equipment, and other production-related expenditures.
Hog Production by the Numbers
number of farms with hogs
hogs marketed annually
cash receipts from hog sales
Feed is the largest single expenditure category in pork production. With over 5.43M market hogs produced annually, feed costs for the Nebraska industry exceed $344.4M. Other direct expenses, like energy and transportation, add over $149.5M, employee compensation totals over $73.4M, and facility-related expenses add over $80.6M.
Jobs Supported by the Nebraska Pork Industry
The direct, indirect, and induced activity generated by the Nebraska pork industry in 2021 supported a total of 17,866 jobs and over $978 million in personal income. Nebraska hog farms and pork processors directly employed 8,388 workers and paid over $442.2 million in total wages. This includes 1,160 full-time-equivalent workers at the farm level and an estimated 7,035 employees in the hog slaughter and processing sectors.
The purchases of input supplies and services in the pork industry indirectly supported 5,566 jobs and over $349.4 million in personal earnings for Nebraska workers. Beyond this, the induced impacts stemming from employee spending included 3,912 additional jobs and over $186.5 million in personal income earned. Many of these jobs were within the agriculture and manufacturing industries, as well as industries like trucking, finance, insurance, real estate, trade, and other service sectors.